#185: Should I Invest in a Business Coach? (Getting Help as an Entrepreneur)

If you’ve been on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or really any social media platform at all in the past day you’ve seen countless ads for business coaches. You might have even had business coaches send you a DM out of the blue saying, “hey there I love what you’re doing with your business. I can really help you. Let’s chat!” Now those kinds of DMs might give you the heebie jeebies about hiring a business coach, so today let’s spend some time talking about the best time to hire a 1:1 coach is for your business and some things to consider so that you don’t end up writing a post on Facebook in 6 months that says, I just lost $10,000. I invested in a coach and got nothing out of it.

I’ll share with you the exact process I go through when deciding if I need to work with someone 1:1 and in today’s Sixty-Second Solution I’ll share great interview questions you can ask a potential coach so that you can find the perfect match. These are the same questions that I encourage my private clients to ask when they are interviewing me.

What is a Business Coach anyway?

I think one of the big challenges in digital entrepreneurship today is that it is a bit like the Wild West. There aren’t a ton of rules, we can call ourselves whatever we what and put offers out that we may not even have any experience or training in.

This means that as digital entrepreneurs we have to really be careful about who and what we invest our money in to help build and grow our businesses. We can’t just say, oh they have a webinar, it really resonates with me and choose to invest. Unless you have unlimited funds, time, and patience.

Now, I know that I don’t have any of those three things and I’m going to guess that you don’t either so let’s get to the nitty gritty questions around hiring a business coach.

First up, what exactly is a business coach. That is a pretty broad term, isn’t? In general, a business coach is going to help you build and grow your business. That is the basic definition. From there, people use it to mean any number of things from marketing help, to business finance guidance, to offer creation, to the process of hiring and outsourcing work and the list goes on.

In other words, like I mentioned, business coaching is kind of the Wild West of digital entrepreneurship. Anything goes.

But the problem with this is that we can’t let “anything goes” dominate our businesses if we want to get to the Six Figure mark.

This brings us to the first question,

When is the best time to hire a business coach?

The best time to hire a business coach is yesterday and the second best time to hire a business coach is today. Don’t you hate when someone says that? In truth, every business can benefit from a business coach.

Here’s why, a business coach will come to know your business intimately. They will know the ins and outs, your personality, your needs, and your mission and vision. This means that you don’t have to constantly provide a back story to every question, comment, and concern the way you do in business focused Facebook groups.

Instead you can get to the heart of the issue and work through to find an acceptable solution.

For example, I was on a call with a client one time and she was trying to figure out her pricing. Because we had been working together for a few months I knew what her concerns were, who her clients were, and we could have a conversation about what was holding her back from charging a different price that would allow for profitability in her business. We could get to the heart of the matter.

Now you might be thinking, that’s great. Of course you would recommend a business coach to everyone because you offer business coaching.

Here’s where I’m going to share…

When is NOT the right time to hire a business coach?

With so many business coaches out there constantly telling you to hire a business coach if you want to get to Six Figures. Hire a business coach if you want to be able to streamline your business. Hire a business coach to…fill in the blank.

The reality is that we don’t always need a business coach. When I’m talking with potential clients I always make sure to take time to dig into where they are in their business, but also how business and personal life are meshing at the moment.

We all know that personal life can be big. It can take up all of our energy, time, and mental stamina. This is the exact time when I would say that you don’t need a business coach. You need to focus on yourself and your family. Having a business coach who is asking you for the next steps, the draft of something to provide feedback, and just seeing that charge on the credit card each month is not going to do any good.

In fact, it might be detrimental to getting back to a space where business can take up some of the mental space you have. So when I know that a person is going through a lot personally, I almost always advise them to wait on business coaching. We have to be ok personally to excel professionally. And as an ethical coach, I’m going to make sure that you’re in a good spot before we work together.

This is why we can’t just say yes to everyone. If we can’t say yes to every business coach who offers us their services, how are we supposed to choose?

Things to Look for in a Business Coach

There are a lot of qualities that you can look for in a coach of any kind, and specifically in a business coach. I highly recommend that you spend time analyzing your previous business and personal relationships to find out what strengths and traits you mesh well with and allow you to grow. We’ve all had teachers, partners, or colleagues with whom we do not work well. It feels like you are butting heads and no progress gets made. Note what made those relationships contentious or less productive.

On the flip side of the coin, think about the strongest relationships you’ve been in or experienced and what made them successful. You can look at personality traits, experience, thought process, and even character strengths.

The trick here is not to just go with someone who won’t push you, you want to choose someone who will help you become even better than you are right now.

On that note, also look at the experience they bring to the table. Ideally they will have experience in something that you have less experience in. You will be able to borrow their wisdom, experience, and knowledge which saves you time and money. This is one of the big reasons that yesterday was the best day to hire a business coach and today is the second best day.

Truly when I meet with a potential client, I’m looking for how I can bring my experience to their business in a way that benefits them. If I can’t do that, I will refer them to a trusted colleague who would be a better fit. Each business coach will have their areas of specialty. For example, I’ve been designing and creating digital courses for over 15 years. That is one of the reasons my clients hire me; to help them create a course that will help their students get results. Another area of expertise that I have is in messaging and implementing the StoryBrand framework into businesses. As a Certified Guide, I have specialized training in utilizing the StoryBrand framework that goes beyond the book. When a client works with me on messaging, they are taking a shortcut.

That is the key. A business coach should be able to offer you a shortcut to getting where you want to be in your business.

Not sure if they will offer a shortcut? In today’s Sixty-Second Solution at the end of the episode I’ll be sharing some of my favorite interview questions I use when I’m interviewing a potential coach and these are the same ones that I proactively answer for my potential clients.

Action Item: Deciding on a Business Coach

Deciding on a business coach is a big step, and one that can feel scary. After all, a business coach can be a big investment, especially in the early years of business where you might not have reached profitability or have slim profit margins.

The key is to use a coach as a springboard for getting to the next level in your business. This week, spend some time analyzing your business. Is now the right time for a coach? What do you most need help with? Are you struggling with your messaging? If so, look for a coach who specializes in messaging. Maybe you are trying to put together a launch mechanism for your offer, look for a coach who specializes in that.

The key is to figure out what you need in your business, but first ask yourself, and be honest, if you have the time to devote to getting that 1:1 coaching. I firmly believe in coaching and have coaches of my own, but I always make sure that I’m going to be able to devote time to implementing what we work on and build. That has been the big difference between the moments when I’ve said, yes! I loved that coaching experience, and the moments when I’ve said ugh! That wasn’t what I hoped for.

I can’t wait to hear what you’ve decided about hiring a coach for your business.

Create a Strategy for Business Growth

This week we have been talking about hiring a business coach (and when to avoid hiring a business coach) because we can all use a little personalized, customized, and tailored help in our business.

As you’ve heard today on the Digital Course Creator Podcast I’m openly sharing the lessons I’ve learned and the same lessons that I share with my private clients to help them become a Six-Figure Digital Course Creator.

Getting to six figures isn’t just about a successful launch, it is about the work that we put in behind the scenes and the strategies we employ to better our business and ourselves as humans.

We need a way to increase revenue while staying aligned with our core values and mission as entrepreneurs and that, like anything in life, requires strategy in a number of categories. We have to dig deeper and you can get that from a lot of different resources: books, podcasts, webinars, and even courses.

Even with all of these resources, it is still easy to struggle to reach enrollment and financial goals and that is because what we want for our business is going to be 10% what we learn, read, or study, and 90% or more mindset.

As a Psychology Professor and Coach, I share as much as I can about mindset here on the show, in fact, today’s episode was focused primarily on mindset shifts with practical ideas to implement. But to truly thrive we all need individualized attention, accountability, and support that a coach can provide. So if you are ready to say yes to a thriving, financially solid business, I’d love to have a conversation with you.

I hold at least two slots open on my calendar each week to help course creators take action, dig into their purpose, and create a strategic plan for growth so that they can get unstuck! These are free, no obligation calls.

If you are ready to make the next 12 months THE year that you go from being uncertain about your course creation business to a Six-Figure Course Creator, grab a strategy call slot at coursecalls.com.

Sixty-Second Solution

Are you ready to hire a business coach, but want to make the right choice? The last thing you want is to post a horror story about how you had a terrible experience and feel like you wasted money.

Here are some of my favorite questions to ask a potential business coach:

  1. What is your experience with (ask about the thing that you’ve identified you really need help with)?
  2. What is one of your favorite books on (fill in the topic)?
  3. What would it look like to work with you? How do your other clients get the most out of coaching?
  4. What do you expect of your clients?
  5. What is your goal for our coaching together?

These questions give you some unique insights not just into their experience, but also into how they will treat you as a client. Will they welcome your thoughts and ideas or impose their structure on you? The key is to find a good fit that will feel comfortable, but push you to grow in a way that feels authentic.

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